Fireworks expert weighs in on Germantown case

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GERMANTOWN (WITI) -- Bodie Witzlib, the man accused of packing his grandmother's basement full of explosives, told police he was in the process of obtaining a license to sell.

"He would never get a permit to sell those. It's illegal to posses them in this country," said Dave Beyer, owner of Uncle Sam's Fireworks in Allenton.

Witzlib faces four felony counts for possessing improvised explosive devices after authorities say they found more than 1,000 dangerous items, resembling M-80s, in the basement of the Germantown home he shared with his grandmother.

Beyer says M-80s have been illegal in the United States since the 1960's.

"It's not a big explosive, per se, each individual one, but when you put them together you would have a big explosive," notes Beyer. "Basically in the old days, an M80 was 1/8 a stick of dynamite."

When compared to legal sized fireworks, Beyer says M-80s are small, but they pack a big punch.

"It would make a big hole in the ground, definitely," says Beyer.

A criminal complaint says Witzlib also sent a sample M-80 to his boss in the mail saying "Tell everyone you know (except the cops)."

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